I'd had good feedback on The Residence from a colleague, I'd read lots of reviews (on this site and others) and my travel agent spoke highly of it. So it was a 9 night stay I was looking forward to.
I am fortunate enough to experience luxury establishments across the world and although this was a nice hotel, i think it fell short of its claims to be a 5* luxury hotel.
On arrival, the impression is a good one, a nice colonial style building and lots of attentive staff which make the check in process easy.
The check in formalities out of the way, you are led to your room, which for me was disappointing. For a supposed luxury hotel, i thought it was very basic - you can't switch the air con off fully, for instance- (although the bathroom was nice).
Much is made of your 'personal butler', from unpacking your luggage, to running you a bath. This is not something that really excites me but did the butler do anything other than turn beds down in the evening? To be fair he did run my wife a rose petal bath which was very good apparently.
The staff are very helpful, courteous and polite. Although I am not too keen on people wanting to hold my daughter and walk away with her given what has happened in Portugal recently. (she is 20 months old). I simply put this down to being an over protective father with a very western idea of how strangers should behave with children, so said nothing. I am convinced their intentions were good ones.
The beach is stunning and the staff there and the pool are very attentive to guests' needs. Even the beach hawkers leave you alone after a polite 'no thank you'.
Kids' club and kids' food.
Although I had to accompany my daughter to the club because of her age, I thought the set up was excellent with lots of activities and toys etc. Judging by the fact that other parents with older children were happy to leave them there too, suggests this was the case.
The restaurants were very happy to cater to our daughter's (fussy) eating needs...from freshly made purees to whole milk for her bottle.
the buffets are excellent and the seafood buffet and the last meal we had at the Plantation at the end of the holiday (the menu du jour) were nothing short of excellent. (The waiters there are also very very friendly and courteous)
I thought the restaurant food was too rich and too fancy. As someone has already said, it leaves you wanting 'normal' food. I think they go overboard on the 'frenchness' of it....very fancy and not a lot of it. I longed for a bowl of pasta, or a risotto or whatever..
Also, the chef uses Dill far far too much. He/she must realise that it is a very strong herb.
Cost of drinks/food.
From soft drinks to wine, ridiculously over priced. How can they justify this?
The lunchtime menu more expensive than London or Paris. Three sandwiches (no drinks) just shy of £25!!!!
We ventured to the local town to see what was on offer there but again you get the feeling that you are merely seen as 'tourist flesh' so you tend to get ripped off for everything. We certainly were for some baby food.
Overall it was a nice, relaxing stay, weather was generally good (a couple of days rain), the staff were very attentive and friendly but I don't believe that this is a true 5* experience.
The hotel was very very quiet during our stay as they are about to commence a refurbishment so it will be interesting to see what the feedback is after this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence Mauritius is situated on the east coast of Mauritius along a mile-long beach of immaculate white sand, fringed by the azure Indian Ocean and tropical gardens - an idyllic retreat for your unreserved relaxation. Inspired by the island's stately turn-of-the-century plantation houses, this luxury Mauritius resort blends modern elegance with classic, colonial style that envelops you in an endearing sense of nostalgia. Live like royalty in rooms that radiate luxurious comfort and charm, with attentive service worthy of the grand colonial houses of yesteryear. Dine on exotic cuisine that captures the incredible potpourri of island flavours. Discover new secrets to soulful relaxation within our serene spa sanctuary, and an endless playground of attractions and activities to be found in the island's unique mix of cultures and stunning landscapes. Whether you seek a romantic escape with your loved one or a spectacular beach getaway with your family, The Residence Mauritius will enthrall you under the warm glow of the Mauritian sun. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Belle Mare
- Residence Hotel Belle Mare
- Residence Mauritius
- The Residence Mauritius Belle Mare